As the curtain came down on a topsy-turvy campaign, Yorkshire took time to honour the past and look to the future at their end-of-season awards this week.
The mood was more conciliatory than celebratory – this is, after all, a club used to winning silverware rather than fearing for their Division One status in the County Championship – but there were still reasons for optimism, not least when seamer Ben Coad landed the players’ player of the year for the second season in a row at the gala dinner, held at Leeds United’s Elland Road.
But it was the departing Jack Brooks who stole the show, claiming the coveted members’ player of the season award in his final act as a Yorkshire player. The popular bowler announced earlier this year that he is leaving Headingley after six seasons, and will join Somerset on a three-year deal.
“He had that desire to finish well and he certainly did,” said Yorkshire’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon.
“It was an outstanding climax to his time at Yorkshire and it has been a remarkable six years that he’s had with us. His record is unbelievable, quite frankly. Credit to Jack who, knowing he was leaving, could have quite easily taken his foot off the gas, but he didn’t and was determined to finish the season well and help the team finish strongly.
“He was a huge part of the success we had at the back end of the season.”
Brooks took 21 wickets in the final month of the campaign, including a nine-wicket haul in the Roses victory over Lancashire that helped secure Yorkshire’s Division One safety – and condemn their rivals to relegation.
“I don’t think you could have wished for anything better from him,” Moxon added.
“He has been a fantastic wicket-taking bowler for us. We knew his qualities when we signed him up, but the success he’s had has certainly exceeded expectations.
“It’s him as a bloke as well and the fact he’s won the members’ player of the year shows the affection that everyone involved with the club has for Jack.
“He’s been part of the Yorkshire family over his time here and is such a well-loved figure and he’ll always be welcome at the club.”
In all, 316 of adopted Yorkie Brooks’ 434 career first-class wickets to date came for the White Rose county, at an average of 26.39.
The mantle, in many respects, will now pass to young Coad, who – even at just 24 years old – is seen as a future England bowler.
In just 24 first-class games so far, Coad has taken a remarkable 103 wickets and finished an injury-hit 2018 campaign with 48 victims. He claimed all three of the major awards at last season’s awards and was given his county cap last month.
“Backing up a good first season is always the challenge for younger players, and Ben has certainly done that,” Moxon added.
“A couple of injuries have kept him out of several games, which is frustrating , but the volume of wickets that he’s taken in the Championship was great to see.
“It was very close in the voting for players’ player this year, but he just pipped a couple of the lads to the award.
“He’s a model pro, gets on with his work, puts the effort in and deserves all the success.
“Ben has that ability to take wickets – top order wickets, but also keeps the rate under control as well. Taking wickets and controlling the economy rate are two great attributes to have. He has fast become a vital member of the squad.”
Yorkshire’s young player of the year gong went to Tom Kohler-Cadmore, who showed his skills facing the red ball after establishing his reputation in the one-day format of the game.
The batsman scored vital hundreds against Lancashire and Nottinghamshire at the back end of the season, and earned an England Lions call-up this winter for their red and white ball tours of the United Arab Emirates.
“With his strong finish to the County Championship season, allied to a fantastic 50-over competition and contributing in T20 at the top of the order, I think across the three competitions he’s been a stand-out performer for us,” Moxon said of Kohler-Cadmore.
“He’s grown in maturity with his game and it has culminated in him being selected for the England Lions, which is a well-deserved selection and you’d now expect him to go from strength to strength.
“The way he scored his runs in the Championship games at the end of the season, for me, was a great step forward. He has now shown he’s capable of playing and being successful in all three formats, which is fantastic for him, the Club and England going forward. It’s not easy this day and age to adapt to all three formats, but he’s shown he’s very capable of scoring runs whatever the competition.”
Wicketkeeper Jonny Tattersall was named fielder of the year, while James Wharton and Tom Loten won the second team performance of the year and academy player of the year awards respectively.